Construction on a long-awaited park and ride that will take commuters from the Cinco Ranch area to various employment sites in the Energy Corridor will soon kick off.

The details

At the Dec. 19 Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, commissioners approved an amended construction agreement with SpawGlass Civil Construction Inc. to build the Westpark Park & Ride.

The $7.42 million project will be built on 10 acres near Cinco Ranch at 19820 FM 1093, Richmond, according to the agenda packet.

Perri D'Armond, director for public transportation for Fort Bend County, said in a phone interview that construction will begin in early January and take about a year to complete.

Per agenda documents, the park and ride will include:
  • 262 parking spaces
  • A canopy for shelter
  • A restroom
  • A detention pond
The background

Commissioners approved SpawGlass as the contractor for the project in August, but the county has been adjusting the design to change utilities and take about $500,000 off the project cost, D'Armond said. Now with the Dec. 14 approval, construction can begin.

D'Armond said the project has been in the works since before she became director four years ago.

"It's just taking a long time to move the project forward, but we're excited we'll finally be able to break ground," she said.

Zooming out

While immediate plans are to use the space only for the park and ride, D'Armond said the facility's location off the Westpark Tollway could allow the facility to be a future hub for other regional transportation options as well.

Multiple Houston-area entities, including Fort Bend County, approved an agreement Dec. 14 to study the feasibility of enhancing the tollway and determining connections for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County’s planned 25-mile University Bus Rapid Transit Line.

D'Armond said the Westpark Park & Ride would be a "perfect spot" for riders to drop off their car and take the BRT into and out of Houston.

Next steps

Over the next year of construction, Fort Bend Transit, the county's public transportation department, will work with stakeholders to finalize the commuter bus route, D'Armond said. Public meetings will also take place in 2024 to collect community feedback.

"The best way to provide the best service is to get the most recent and up-to-date information that you can on what the public wants and not try to give them something that they wanted 10 years ago," she said. "There have been so many changes in the work environment—how people work, how they get to work—we want to make sure we are addressing it and meeting their needs as efficiently and as reliably as possible."